from Cleveland

February 27, 2008 at 7:00 pm 2 comments

American Splendor 1

From the town that brought us Dennis Kucinich, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and the Indians: American Splendor. Harvey Pekar‘s fantastic underground comic is commemorated in this week’s filmclub pic, American Splendor.

What is splendid in American Splendor is the film’s commitment to the confusion of multiple frames: Cleveland, comic, movie, character, realism, nerd-life, disgruntlement, and marriage. Pekar might object to the romanticism, but one recalls Roethke‘s existential question. Which I is I?

The answer, it turns out, is a flawed but compelling character whose claim to comic genius, played straight, captures the pulp fabric of the Cleveland quotidian. It ain’t yuppie. Warm like a worn flannel, that’s the stuff. But put that flannel on jazz and you get closer. Paint the sky slate, and you’re closer yet. Shuffle your feet. Diner. File Clerk. Retirement. Friends.

The realistic virtue of Dreiser‘s Jennie Gerhardt is extolled. Revenge of the Nerds is panned. Pekar lives between the heron and the wren. It’s in this rust-belt rummage through comic pages that the story of a working Joe like Harvey cracks a grin-like grimace, the faint goddamn! of finding himself in frames.

Raccoon’s write-up is here.


Entry filed under: American Splendor, thurs afternoon. Tags: , .

Sepulnation Obama HQ Behind the Scenes

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. J Bushnell  |  February 29, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I always appreciate the poetic leanings of your write-ups. Flannel + jazz + slate-grey sky = Cleveland is a nice formulation.

  • 2. skunkcabbage  |  February 29, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks! 🙂 If I can return the compliment, I very much enjoy the way your posts clarify the narrative moves that make our flicks. And the visual evidence is killer!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

%d bloggers like this: